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insistence that key to the u.s. beginning to pay down its debt and avoid going over the fiscal cliff is raising tax rates on the wealthiest americans. >> we're going to have to see the rates on the top 2% go up, and we're not going to be able to get a deal without it. >> reporter: if republicans agree to do that, the president told bloomberg television, he'll agree to serious spending cuts. republicans have offered to raise taxes on higher incomes by $800 billion, not by raising tax rates, but by eliminating some deductions and loopholes. during last year's budget showdown, the president said he wanted to do exactly that. >> what we said was give us $1.2 trillion in additional revenues, which could be accomplished without hiking tax rates, but could simply be accomplished by eliminating loopholes, eliminating some deductions and engaging in a tax reform process that could have lowered rates generally while broadening the base. >> reporter: but now the president does not. he says it will not raise enough revenue. >> it's not me being stubborn. it's not me being partisan. it's just a m
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